Media get innovative with Children's Day fare

MUMBAI: From staid Doordarshan to hyperactive Radio City, varied media have geared themselves to provide a wide spectrum of fare catering to children today on the occasion of Children's Day. While RED FM has roped in underprivileged children to anchor the day's proceedings on the station, Doordarshan will have a live telecast of the International Children's Film Festival that kicks off in Hyderabad today. 

Even Zee MGM, which usually does not have the tiny tot in mind while designing programming, has taken pains to include Prancer, a tale about a little girl who befriends a wounder reindeer she believes is one of Santa's team, True Heart, an adventure flick, Little Man Tate, the predicament of a child prodigy and My Left Foot, which would strike a more serious note about a child who overcomes severe physical limitations to become an accomplished painter and writer.

The evening's highlights on Zee MGM include Asterix and Obelix, followed by Pinnochio.

FM station Radio City is striking a serious note too with a tagline of 'Seekho Sikhao' for the month ahead. In association with an NGO Pratham, the radio station plans to help the lesser privileged children in Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, and Bangalore to read better.

While its earlier initiative, the Gift a Toy scheme managed to procure 14,000 toys that were distributed to underprivileged children in Balwadis, orphanages and remand homes in the three cities during Diwali, the Seekho Sikhao campaign will have Radio City RJs teaching a child each at the Pratham Centre. As part of this programme, Radio City RJs Karan, Lavanya, Ravi, Anirudh, (Mumbai), Richa (Delhi), Vera and Pooja (Lucknow) and Chaitanya in Bangalore will spend some time each day to teach the less privileged children to read. Radio City will monitor the progress on a daily basis.

The Pratham learning programme entails 'reading aloud' stories, use of the phonetic 'barakhadi' chart for coding and decoding sounds, use of rhyming words, and an activity to 'say what you want and write what you want' . Children aged seven and above who can read words or letters but not paragraphs can be taught to read with comprehension in a matter of weeks, thus opening a whole world of better understanding, according to a Radio City release.

Doordarshan is contributing its mite with a live telecast of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 13th International Children's Film Festival being held in Hyderabad from 14 to 20 November The opening creremony will be aired at 5 pm today on DD 1, while the closing ceremony will be aired at 5 pm on 20 November. A 30 minute curtain raiser was telecast from DDK Hyderabad from 11 pm to 11.30 pm last night. Regular reports from the festival will also be aired on a daily basis on DD National.

RED FM has also decided to go the social cause way, with a tie up with CRY. The station will air a full-day special treat for the children hosted by underprivileged children. The kids will work at the station the whole day, reading out the traffic and weather updates, play songs and anchor the various shows. They will also sing on the station, says a press release.

The kids will introduce numerous special elements to the days programming - polls on kids' relevant issues, interviews with famous child artistes and achievers as well as a kids' humour segment.

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